OCCU Foundation Donates $20K to Support Businesses Impacted by Fires

The Oregon Community Credit Union Foundation, the philanthropic arm of OCCU, based in Eugene, Oregon, donated $20,000 to the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce to provide mini-grants to businesses impacted by the 2020 fires.

Using grant funding from the OCCU Foundation, the Chamber of Commerce awarded funds ranging from $500-$1,500 to 15 small businesses and nonprofits that serve McKenzie River residents impacted by the Holiday Farm Fire that devastated communities on Sept. 7, 2022.

“OCCU Foundation is proud that we were able to assist small businesses impacted by the Holiday Farm Fire through this program,” said Ron Neumann, OCCU Foundation Board Chair. “Our partnership with the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce is one way we can support our community’s long-term recovery efforts.”

Dani Thompson, Economic Development Specialist with the chamber, delivered grants to many of the business recipients in person.

“The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce was absolutely honored to receive funds from OCCU Foundation to help restore, rebuild and return hope to businesses impacted by the Holiday Farm Fire,” Thompson said, “although there is much more work that needs to be done, it was truly outstanding to see the rebuilding and restoration that has already occurred within the last year.”

One grant recipient, Anna Bjornsdotter, owner of Ethyria Clothing, said the grant funds were invaluable.

“This is what has made all this bearable and given our family the feeling that we can get through this time; the truth that people actually do care about us and want to help, be that with a grant or with helping us clear our property.”

Wildfires in Oregon burned more than one million acres and destroyed thousands of homes and other structures in September 2020. The OCCU Foundation matched the first $100,000 of funds raised through its Fire Relief Fund and has provided more than 20 grants to nonprofits throughout Oregon.

Posted in Member News.